Fringe Factory Review #1

Jem Rolls’ Leastest Flops


This is the fourth occasion that I’ve had to experience the poetry of Jem Rolls.  His poetic stylings are as interesting as the subject matter he talks about.  Jem is able to switch from slow to fast intonation at the drop of a hat, making for a truly delightful feast for the ears.

Most of his poems deal with subtle and not-so-subtle observations on everyday life, as well as some deeper philosophical considerations thrown in for good measure.  Last year, for instance, he examined the many trappings of that modern day cultural phenomena – The Mall… “Bless them all; bless the mall.”  He has also touched on topics such as British history (“We Won!”), social awkwardness (“Clanger Man”), package holidays, etc., etc.

This year, the handbill promised a reprise “of some of his most unhated material.  Supposedly.”  Having seen Jem for the past three years, I did recognize many of the poems performed.  I think some of them were even updated.  However, I’m not sure whether it was the fact that I saw him for four years in a row now or the fact that he was presenting older poetry… and was thus a bit more relaxed/lax, but it seemed to me that Jem didn’t have the same level of punchiness as in previous years.  I did attend on opening night, so maybe as  the week progresses, his delivery will improve.

That said, if you haven’t seen Jem before, I highly recommend it.  Even if you’re not a big fan of poetry, you’ll probably end up liking Jem.  His performance is not of the stuffy-coffee-house-with-jazz-muzak-playing-in-the-background variety (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  If you’ve seen him before and are a fan, his performance is still worth catching.

Here’s my rating:

502px-Factory_svg502px-Factory_svg502px-Factory_svgfactory half  3.5 / 5 factories


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